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Old 05-31-2004, 01:36 PM   #1
mike@af
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HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Chop tops are the most common modification done to hot rods these days, it really gives the car a new stance. Chop tops can look like a pain in the ass but its rather easy with a little time and patience. My chop top on my '37 Ford Coupe took a few hours to complete.

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Step 1:
Mark out some lines for where you plan to cut the roof and support pillars. Take your time to plan your cuts so you know how things should fit back together and where parts are going to need to be lowered. (I thought I had a picture of the lines I made but I cannot find it, I'll photoshop a picture of where I cut mine lines later. You should be able to tell where the cut lines were planned by referencing the other pictures)

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Step 2:
Begin to cut the back light off, part A. Use a hobby saw to saw through the polystyrene and where you made your marks for cutting. Cut slowly so you avoid injuring yourself and/or the body. Do not cut all the way through the body yet.



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Step 3:
Scribe the line that seperates the C-Pillar (part B) from the backlight (part A). Cut all the way through. Now you may cut all the way through the cuts you made in the previous step. This is when the backlight should be removed.



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Step 4:
Use your hobby saw to remove the C-Pillars from the body and the roof. Cut slowly and gently as the body does tend to become weak with the removal of parts.



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Step 5:
Now its time to remove the roof all together. Using your hobby saw cut the B-Pillars and C-Pillar in half. Now the roof should seperate from the body. Cut very gently so you dont rip off the pillars.



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Step 6:
The A and B pillars now need to be shortened to lower the rood. The B-Pillar will be shortened 5/32" (approx. 3-3/4" scale). Using a depth gauge and dividers mark both B-Pillars at 5/32" (or your preference) and make sure exactly the same amount will be taken off each pillar or else the roof will lean.



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Step 7:
Slowly cut of the areas on the B-Pillars that were marked. Be careful not to break the pillars. After cuting part of the B-Pillar off make sure whats left of the B-Pillar is the same height on both sides.



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Step 8:
I will be taking of 3/16" off the A-Pillar follow the same process as you did for cutting the B-Pillar.



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Step 9:
The roof needs to be test fitted to see if the pillars line up. The most likely wont, especially with such a drastic chop.





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Step 10:
Since the pillars did not line up the roof needs to be seperated again front to back. Make a guide to cut (I used Tamiya Masking tape) and use your hobby saw to cut the roof in two pieces.



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Step 11:
Reattach the pillars to the body using tape to figure out how much strip styrene you need to span the gap between the to halves of the roof. In this case I needed .080" of styrene to fill the gap. Cut the pieces of styrene and bend them to fit the contour of the roof. Then attach the pieces of styrene to the front part of the roof.



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Step 12:
In the above picture you can also see that the rear half of the roof is too narrow. Cut the rear part of the roof in half (side to side) to place strip stryrene between the gap. Then place a piece or strip styrene on one half then attach it to the other half so the rood is widened.






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Step 13:
Now reattach the roof to the body. Make sure it fits almost perfectly before you glue it. In these pictures you can see where all the roof cuts have been made and where strip styrene has been placed.







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Step 14:
Now test fit the C-Pillar. It will not fit, it is too tall. Cut part of the bottom of the C-Pillar off with a hobby saw. Also you will need to file the C-Pillar after cutting it so it will fit between the roof an the body.



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Step 15:
After test fitting the C-Pillar glue it back in place. Repeat steps 14 and 15 for the oppisite side.



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Step 16:
Almost there, and Im getting tired of this tutorial. Test fit the back light. If it doesnt fit (which it probably wont), cut a piece off the top and the bottom of the backlight with your hobby saw. Then test fit again, and glue it back in place. [For my car I altered the design of the roof so I am making the backlight sit at a much shallower angle]

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Step 17:
Time to putty it up. Use Tamiya Epoxy Putty (Quick Type) around every joint and every place that was cut. This will insure a strong structure.





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Its a lot of careful precision work but in the end its worth it. Now I hope writing this tutorial is worth it. Sorry for the steps that dont have pictures, I probably got carried away and for got to snap some shots. For the first step I will photoshop a picture to show the lines. Its AF's first chop top tutorial so the tutorial is still being worked on. Soon I will show how to modify the windows to fit. Enjoy!
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

nice
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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Great tutorial!
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:06 PM   #4
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

I really got to try that one out, thanx.
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honoturtle
Great tutorial!
That's precise, clear, perfectly explained! I'm waiting now for the windows tutorial now... Great thanks!!!
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:47 PM   #6
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Thanks for that! Very informative; great tutorial Mike.
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Glad everyone likes it. The tut was harder to make than the chop top.
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

now you need a tutorial on how to make new windows
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

*ahem*
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTmike400
Soon I will show how to modify the windows to fit.
Great work, Mike! Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2004, 04:13 PM   #10
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

I just tried it, and I think I screwd up my impala.I dont folow directions to well,lol
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Old 05-31-2004, 04:29 PM   #11
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Mike great!!! That's excatly what I was looking for. You the man!
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Old 05-31-2004, 04:29 PM   #12
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

HEY MIKE
you could 'nt of posted this last week before
i messed up my gmc pickup!!!
nice work and photo's
hurry up with the window so i dont
mess them up LOL!!!
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:32 PM   #13
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Thanks guys! As far as the windows, Im not sure when I will do them. I have no rush for them. I'm also planning on doing a sectioning tutorial if I decide to do that to my Ford.
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:28 PM   #14
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Good job!

But what about slanting the front window back? It looks kinda funny...of course it may just be that I'm not used to seeing a chooped car sans paint!

Throw some suede dark grey primer, flames and 20" billets under it!!!!

Thanks for the tut!

Bill
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:08 PM   #15
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Re: HOW TO: Chop Top Tutorial

Thanks a bunch for taking your time to write and photograph this tutorial. I will be attempting my first chop top, next build and this will be my 'how to' guide. I really appreciate it man. Thanks again. Take care.

J. Barry
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